Jump to content

Glenerie limestone fossil hunt

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

It has been a while and I haven't been particularly active on the forum lately as I've been quite busy, recently though I had some time available and due to fairly nice weather decided I'd go check out a new fossil site in eastern NY, which is probably the closest Paleozoic site to me.

I was initially made aware of this site by @Fossildude19 who gifted me some fossils from here this summer and the unusual preservation as well as interesting fauna made me very interested. Big thank you to Tim for those wonderful pieces as well as informing me about the location.

The location is a road cut exposing the Glenerie Limestone which contains silicified fossils of a variety of brachiopods, gastropods, tentaculitids and some other fauna. I got to explore up and down this roadcut for a couple of hours and came away with some pretty nice finds, at least for my first time being there.

Here are some photos from the site itself:


Many of the layers here are completely filled with fossils of brachiopods, spiriferid being particularly abundant.

The last photo was one of the best fossils I saw there, a huge brachiopod, I believe Costispirifer sp. The photo doesn't really show scale but it was probably about 8 cm in width, and it was in very good condition. Unfortunately since it was still in the roadcut it had to be left behind, maybe one day it will weather out for someone to collect it.


And now onto the pictures of my actual finds

  • I found this Informative 2
  • Enjoyed 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to start with the smaller and more notable finds as I haven't yet taken out and cleaned everything I found.





This is a number of spiriferids found at the site, I believe I've seen these labeled as Acrospirifer arreutus.

Although the one in the front stands out, I think it's the only complete spiriferid I found, luckily too as it was just sitting out on the surface, completely free of matrix and undamaged right in the place I was about to step. I have been looking at it and to me it also looks different in shape to the rest, I am not sure if that's down to different preservation or if it could be a different genus like Howella or Megakozlowskiella. Here are some additional photos of that specimen:





I also found these spiriferids, I believe these ones are Costispirifer sp. Like the one that was in situ above, although these are nowhere near as nice and complete.





This next specimen isn't particularly well preserved, part of it even broke off in my hand as I was collecting it, but still very exciting for me as I've wanted to add one of these brachiopods to my collection for a while. This is a terebratulid brachiopod I believe Rensselaeria elongata. There is no shell material left but the internal mold still shows many interesting features and you can still see some of the shell ornamentation it would've had.





These two are rhynchonellids, I believe they might be Pleiopleurina pleiopleura but I'm not entirely sure yet





Another very much incomplete specimen but I still think it's really interesting as this is a valve of Leptaena rhomboidalis and it shows a lot of the internal anatomy that you usually don't get to see including the hinge and muscle attachment points





These two are Leptocoelia flabellites, a Rhynchonellid brachiopod that is also fairly abundant at the site, I collected a few of these in matrix and some like these which are free of it.





These brachiopods I am sure about yet, I think they're a spiriferid and an orthid, but I haven't looked as closely at these yet and may be wrong. The bottom one is almost completely free of matrix and very thin, I am amazed it survived exposed out there and the trip itself too





This platycerid gastropod from the site, I found a few of these, most in matrix. I was hoping to find some specimens of Platycers spirale, but I don't think I got any from this trip, though the other fossils I got definitely made up for that





Finally for today is this piece, I've never actually seen anyone post corals from this location so I am not sure if these are rare or fairly common, but still the way this piece is preserved is incredible to me, I was really lucky with this piece as I found it in some dirt while collecting brachiopods and surprisingly it has survived the journey home, and cleaning it off despite looking very thin and fragile.


The closest thing I could find to it in my references is Pleurodictyum lenticularis.




I'll try to post more fossils in the coming days as I have a lot more stuff that I'll be cleaning up. Although, for some reason after cleaning these they take a really long time to dry off compared to other fossils, might be because they are really porous, since they are silicified and silica tends to retain water well, so it might take some time.

  • I found this Informative 3
  • Enjoyed 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another piece I'll quickly throw in for today. I found it while looking through some matrix pieces near one of the ends of the roadcuts.

It appears to be a void left by possibly a brachiopod shell or something else, although I don't immediately recognize the shape so it may just be a random void in the rock from something else. In which the silica accumulated to such an extent that it ended up forming a piece of chalcedony, like an agate.


I am not sure if it's possible to do with this matrix, but I want to try dissolving the limestone away with something like hydrochloric acid, if that's something I can do, it would be really interesting to see what the actual shape is that this piece of chalcedony is filling in. It's also just really pretty and I really like agates and chalcedony, so I'd like to get it out even if it isn't anything particularly interesting 



  • I found this Informative 1
  • Enjoyed 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like you did well there, Misha.
Congratulations on the coral - pretty rare there, I believe.

Thanks for posting your finds.

  • Thank You 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on your Glenerie finds, Misha. Glenerie holds a special place for me since it was the first site I visited multiple times and built up a collection from. It is a prolific site, especially for brachiopods and the preservation in silica produces specimens that show things often lacking in specimens from other locales. When I first collected there I assumed that all of the spirifers were Acrospirifer. Over the years I've come to recognize at least five species of spirifers from Glenerie though Acrospirifer is by far the most abundant. That one especially fine specimens in the front of your group is Macropleura macropleura. The pronounced sulcus was the identifying feature for me. The only specimen I have of that from Glenerie is an internal cast. Great find! Also, congrats on the two Pleiopleurina pleiopleura. Not the best specimens, but I have yet to find one. Michael Historian found an especially nice one when he was out collecting there with me. The other spiriferid I'm not sure about, but the Orthid is probably Discomyorthis oblata. My biggest congrats though are for the Striatopora issa (tabulate coral), the very first coral I've seen from the site. Glenerie continues to produce new and amazing specimens even after being collected for over a hundred years. Thanks for sharing. 

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely brachiopods, Misha, but that coral is very special. :wub:

  • Thank You 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the comments and @Jeffrey P for the help with IDs


Here are some more pretty interesting fossils I cleaned up yesterday from the site:


I believe this is a specimen of Meristella sp. Very interesting shape and I love the details you can see inside which aren't usually visible 



Possibly another of the same genus? But pretty different in shape and not as well preserved 



A large specimen, also might be Meristella sp. Quite similar to some specimens I have from the kalkberg



Not sure what these two are, some kind of athyrids? They seem pretty abundant at the site I collected a few of these




I don't know what this one is, might be Coelospira sp. an interesting thing here is the perfectly circular little boring in that shell, I have a shell from the Kalkberg which is very similar in shape and also has a hole just like that in the shell. Not sure if it's caused by predation or just bioerosion



This is a very poorly preserved brach but I picked it up anyways because the size and shape are quite interesting, it's about 7cm in width. Maybe something like Hipparionyx proximus? that's the closest thing I could find to it in Lindsey's Devonian Paleontology of NY


A few more gastropods, the first one seems to be a pretty nice piece, though mostly encased in matrix, not sure if there's really any way to clean it up


Edited by Misha
  • Enjoyed 2
Link to post
Share on other sites


I've found that sometimes, you can carefully trim the matrix around the fossils with a tile nipper or wire cutter type pliers.

It can be tricky, however.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A few more fossils from cleaning up large pieces of matrix today:


Small brachiopod, I initially thought it is a tiny spiriferid, but now I'm not sure. I'll look into it later, the internals are preserved pretty well, I think it should be identifiable


Tentaculitids are pretty cool and it was exciting to find them myself for the first time, quite abundant at this site, these specimens are out of matrix as they fell out of a larger piece they were on very loosely until I tried to clean it, I still have some nice ones in shale, and a lot of impressions on other pieces.



  • Enjoyed 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember finding HUGE tentaculites in the Glenerie of NW New Jersey.  Nice stuff. Took me back.

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the tentaculitids! 

And, yes, I think that could be the spiriferinid (not spiriferid) Cyrtina varia. 



Edited by Tidgy's Dad
  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...